In some cases, the current Data Protection Act (DPA) suffices, especially when you consider that not all spamming is necessarily abusive or offensive.
Most e-mail recipients recognise an unsolicited commercial communication for what it is and can eliminate it at the touch of a button without feeling unduly inconvenienced.
But few people deny the senders right to advertise its interest. Where personal data is used without consent to compile the database of recipients, the DPA already provides remedies for those who wish to be removed from the mailing list.
The present mechanism of seeking consent from potential recipients is increasingly well understood and does not need to change to a Catch 22-style scenario, where consent needs to be obtained from potential recipients, who cannot receive unsolicited e-mails requesting such consent in the first place.